Virtual road trips!

Youtube is my go-to place for … well, just about everything.   Youtube is a wonder and one of its most wondrous gifts is the ability it gives you, the viewer, to travel anyplace in the world you would like to go, and you don’t need a dime.   The #1 thing on my bucket list is to travel the world.  But since I can’t afford to literally hop all over the world on a  whim, I can still get a pretty good facsimile of the real thing by taking a virtual road trip on Youtube.

You can take a virtual road trip almost anywhere in the world on Youtube.  Just type in “driving in” or “driving to” [fill in country, state or city].”   Chances are, there is a video taken from someone’s dashcam of the actual road trip.  Many of these are accompanied by music.   Obvously, some are much higher quality than others.  I prefer the ones where the driver isn’t talking, and just allows you, the viewer to enjoy the view from the car.

Here is an amazing video (it’s almost seven hours long) of the drive from Los Angeles to New York City.   It’s all here, speeded up (and deleting the parts where the driver had to stop).  Viewing it in full will take a long time, but you don’t have to worry about inconveniences like a full bladder, having to stop for gas, or the discomfort of sitting in a car for hours at a time.   While driving through Nebraska, he pulls over to watch the solar eclipse (this starts at about 3:29:12).   I do wish music had been added, but you can play your own driving music while you watch this, if that’s your preference.  I  also like to enlarge the video to full-screen, which makes the experience even more realistic.

I spent yesterday also “driving” through many parts of Europe.   I was surprised by the fact that driving in most European countries is identical to driving here in the states.   You will see the same green road signs and mile markers, road markings, and exit design.   The same road rules that apply here also apply in these countries.   The UK and China (there may be others) are exceptions, because people drive on the left hand side of the road instead of the right.   That seems very strange (and dangerous) to me.  But in mainland Europe, people drive on the right hand side, the way they do here.

Here is an incredible drive from the Austrian-Italian border through the Italian Alps to the town of Tolmezzo.   The drive covers about 258 km (160 miles).

I find watching these videos a great way to relax, have fun, and satisfy my curiosity about what it’s like driving in places I’ve never been.

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Why I’ll never have a Youtube channel.

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Yesterday, someone asked me why I don’t have a Youtube  channel.  That’s a good question and I’m going to answer it.

Having an accompanying Youtube channel seems to be increasingly popular among bloggers, especially those who blog about mental health issues. It’s so ubiquitous these days, that it seems almost required to have a Youtube channel to get any sort of traffic for your blog (this blog does just fine traffic-wise without one).   If you’re a mental illness blogger and aren’t on Youtube, people wonder why the hell aren’t you? They suspect that maybe you have something to hide.

Let ’em think whatever they want. Because you won’t ever see me nailing up a shingle on Youtube. No way, no how. And I’ll tell you why.

1. I’m socially awkward and not very articulate.
It’s true. While I express myself very well in the written form and can present myself well verbally when I must (such as on job interviews and horrible office Christmas parties), the latter is very exhausting for me. As an INFJ and a person with Avoidant Personality Disorder, I’m an introvert and socially anxious. That extends to speaking into a camera on my computer, knowing that my voice is what people will be listening to and my face is what people will be looking at. I pepper my spoken language with a lot of filler and “ums” and “uhs” and “you knows” and “likes” and do strange things with my hands and face while speaking to cover the fact my mind goes completely blank when I have to speak in front of other people, even if it’s recorded ahead of time.

2. I’m not a performer.
I know not everyone with a Youtube channel is trying to be a celebrity and many mental health and narcissistic abuse v-loggers are wonderful people who probably have good hearts and really want to help others. But for me, talking to an audience for the purpose of making a video comes very close to feeling like a performance, and that’s just a whole lot of stress I don’t need or want.

3. I don’t want to worry about what I look like.
When I blog, I’m usually lounging around on my bed or on the couch, my hair uncombed and my face as naked as I was on the day I was born. I’m usually dressed in some grungy pair of threadbare in the thighs jeans or yoga pants 3 sizes too big (I lost a lot of weight the past couple of years but haven’t replaced many of my clothes) and a holey T-shirt covered with coffee stains. On a few occasions (especially in the summer when it’s hot), I like to lounge around in nothing but my underwear and a tank top. I also like to eat or chew gum while I blog, and have no particular desire to be talking to an audience while snapping Wrigley’s or munching on a mouthful of Herr’s Cheese Balls.

So don’t go looking for me on Youtube, because the only thing I’ll ever be doing there is commenting on other people’s videos.